COVID-19 rescue package chat with CCIQ Chief Economist Marcus Smith

In both its scale and scope, the COVID-19 rescue package announced by the Prime Minister and Treasurer this morning is stunning. I spoke with CCIQ Chief Economist Marcus Smith earlier this afternoon regarding what he thinks about the package, and you can listen to our conversation here:

Use these timestamps (approx.) to jump to the highlights:

  • 1:25 – Marcus says it’s an “absolutely unprecedented” rescue package
  • 3:30 – “Things are getting really tough” in the Qld economy
  • 5:00 – I ask Marcus whether the unemployment rate could get up to 10%+
  • 7:30 – I mention the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) will need to massively increase its borrowing program and ask whether the rescue package could be “over the top”?
  • 9:30 – discussion about allowing early access to superannuation (note audio a bit distorted in places but improves after Marcus switches to his landline)
  • 14:00 – Marcus is happy with the general composition of the package
  • 15:00 – “We know [coronavirus impact] is going to be bad…and it will have a lingering effect”
  • 16:55 – I ask Marcus what else the state government needs to do and he notes CCIQ wants additional payroll tax relief, as current deferral is just “kicking the can down the road”
  • 17:45 – Marcus notes Qld Government has so far only announced a “relatively small spend” compared with other state governments
  • 21:20 – what’s happening in the Qld regions
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